Del Mar at 12 Dead and Counting

The latest Del Mar Stewards Minutes reveal one more dead (though unidentified), bringing this much-celebrated track’s summer Death Toll to (at least) 12.

week of 7/11/16-7/17/16, “Deceased: 5”
week of 7/18/16-7/24/16, “Deceased: 6”
week of 7/25/16-7/31/16, “Deceased: 1”

The names we know:

Presidential Air, July 15, race 6
Dynamite Charge, July 17, training
Pacific Swell, July 21, race 5
Whisky and Wine, July 23, training
Big Book, July 23, training
Dutchessa, July 23, race 2
Fasnacloich, July 24, race 2

images (10)


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  1. Thank you very much for providing this painful information. Hell Mar Racetrack should go down in history as the place “Where The Turf Meets the Surf and the Horses Meet Their Maker.” So sick of the veneer of “glamour” that is attached to this death track.

    • Yes, Jane, they party on while these long suffering horses suffer in silence purely for $2 bets, greed and big egos.
      The reality of these 12 horses not only dying but suffering excruciatingly painful life threatening injuries before being injected with poison to end their lives, is utterly inexcusable, sickening and outrageous.
      These magnificent animals are innocent.
      Sadly for them they’re bred purely for gambling, profit and human entertainment – poker machines on wheels.
      This is horseracing.

  2. Del Mar is a cesspool of pain, suffering, abuse, cruelty, doping, beating, dumping, and dying.
    This is nothing new.
    It has been going on for years only before they were able to hide the maimed, and killed.
    They were able to hide it well prior to this Blog HRW’s.
    That’s why I’m grateful to Patrick and co-founder Nicole, and to all who comment.
    We must keep this going.
    Somewhere between the fancy hats, mint juleps, and fireworks there lies a dying racehorse in the dirt.
    The racehorses are merely gambling pawns within a cesspool of corruption, and exploitation.
    Furthermore, it infuriates me that this industry is still DENYING the names of the racehorses who DIE in many circumstances.
    This is a legitimized DEATH CAMP supported by people who continually defend it.
    The industry is supported by casual horse players that are ignorant of the facts. The ones who attend the summer meets or big races only.
    They are being educated thanks to this Blog.
    For those who actually send their racehorses into this torture pit you are the worse.
    You don’t “love” your horses. You love what you can get from them.
    You love yourself more than you will ever love the horses you subject to this cruelty circus, and death camp.

  3. The whole industry should be shut down. It’s a disgrace to allow this year after year. What kind of people support the killing of such beautiful animals? It disgusts how they make it seem so glamorous.

      • I can look out my window and see glorious horses relaxing, and grazing as they were meant to.
        If this industry ended then so would the beating/whipping, doping, dumping and dying.
        That would be a great day for horses.
        Of course the slaughterhouses would be a little upset because their meat production would slow down somewhat.
        Just think of all those people sitting in a cafe in Paris, France with their forks poised over their plate waiting for their horse meat tartar, and it doesn’t come.
        How sad is that?
        Just think of all the kill buyers that would be out of business.
        Isn’t that glorious?

      • Meant to say as well, Greg, that the magnificent thoroughbred will be around forever. As if its breed would disappear!

  4. Shut this death trap down, these beautiful talented horses deserve better, they have done everything right but this race track is deplorable

  5. This along with rodeos, zoos, circuses, quarter horse racing, etc. And the list keeps getting larger and larger. These are multi million dollar industries which will take a large pushback from the public to see them all shut down.

  6. I understand this is sad, however, it’s has to do more breeding than the tracks they are run on, or the “drugs” they are given. Thoroughbreds and bred to have strong muscular bodies, and long skinny legs. Legs that are more susceptible to fracture( canon bone, usually non repairable) ending their career, and I have yet to see a horse walking on 3 legs. It just isn’t possible for them. Tachycardia (heart beats so fast eventually not enough blood is pumped through and it stops) due to selective breeding for more muscle but can lead to weaker cardio-pulmonary systems. These horses cost millions of dollars, owners, trainers, and breeders do NOT take I likely when family dies on the track. And yes, I do say family, because these horses are treated so well. Mind you, I get there are some bad eggs, but most truly do care.
    Another thing, say we eliminate horse racing, what’s next? Dressage( an Olympic sport)? Horses can break their canon bones there to, a mis step on a lead change, tripping over the sand, then their career is over as well.
    Cross country jumping( also Olympic sport)? Where horse AND rider have been known to lose their lives.
    It truly does break my heart every time I hear a horse being put down at the track. I have been lucky enough to own a few RETIRED race horses, and let me tell you, all they have ever wanted to do was go fast again. It’s their job, what they are bred for, and what they live to do. And please don’t jump to conclusions about the track, when tragedies like this happen, the best interest of the horse is considered, horses cannot spend the rest of their lives confined to a stall laying down because they cannot walk( develop intestinal problems, eating, and respiratory problems) or attached to a sling in order to stand( creata lameness in other legs, major atrophy, and severe health problems).

    • I completely agree! As much as we want to see them as pets they are not. They are athletes who put there lifes on the line to do what they are bred and love to do! Just like any other (human and non-human) athlete out there. Our influence on selective breeding has caused good and bad outcome but we have done that in every part of the world. Risk of death and injury just part of the sport…
      Part of ANY sport!

      • Once again I’m compelled to address the human vs the non-human athlete argument that pro-horse racing people often use as in Caity’s comment.
        Human athletes have a choice – racehorses don’t.
        Human athletes have a voice – racehorses don’t.
        They are not given a choice to be forcibly impregnated, bred, and to run in circles while people scream at them to bring home a bet.
        I don’t know of any athlete who summons a vet to their private dressing room 4 hours before competition to get a shot of juice in their jugular vein.
        If there is such an athlete state their name here.
        Nor do I see a human athlete get injected repeatedly into their joints while being restrained.
        Now of course any thinking human being with an IQ of 3 would realize that restraining a horse is not consent.
        Are you still with me Caity?
        So given a choice to go out in a paddock, grazing, relaxing like horses are born to do isn’t consistent with the unnatural speed, doping, beating, and pounding on underdeveloped musco-skeletal systems.
        I’ve never seen a football player running the field at 2 years old in diapers – have you Caity?
        Is so, then state their name here.
        I’ve never seen both Mom and Dad plan their gene pool, and bloodlines before conceiving?
        If you know of any human athlete whose parents planned their bloodlines state their name here.
        I’ve never seen human athletes maimed, and killed on a daily basis – have you?
        If so, state the names of human athletes who have died while playing their chosen sport within a 4 week time span.
        I bet you that the number doesn’t even come close to the 12 that have died at Del Mar within weeks, and that’s just one racetrack!
        I’ve left the best part for last Caity – just for you.
        Give me the name of a human athlete who was dumped at a kill auction, and subsequently sent to slaughter when they were no longer profitable.
        See what I’m getting at.
        There is absolutely no comparison between a human and equine athlete.
        Furthermore, horse racing doesn’t qualify as a “sport,” it does qualify as a cruelty circus, and death camp.
        Now would you pro-horse racing people come up with a more plausible argument to justify the ongoing maiming, and deaths of non-consenting non-human sentiment beings?

      • Really, Caity? Horses need to risk their lives so that you, and your ilk, can be entertained? When you compete in a true sport, such as tennis, swimming, or golf, do you put your “life on the line” so that some human can be entertained? Do you put your child’s “life on the line” when he/she plays basketball or baseball or hockey? I certainly hope not!

        I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again (in case this is one of your “slow” days)….whenever you mix money and animals, the animals end up losing the vast majority of the time. That concept seems incredibly simple to me but, for some reason, the animal exploiters seem to struggle with its meaning.

        Oh, and if I hear one more time that horses “love” to run, I think I’m going to throw up. Yes, they “love” to run when loaded with drugs and they are put into a herd environment where all the other horses are forced to run because the riders carry, and use, things called “whips.” Anyone, with minimal intelligence, knows that the majority of horses will attempt to stay with the herd. We must also not forget that these horses are kept stalled 23 hours a day which is unnatural from beginning to end. I’ve been involved with horses for well over 50 years and have owned, and fostered, many OTTB’s. When they are removed from the track, they do run the first few times they are turned out but, after a couple of days, they actually seldom move out of a trot. That is what I have observed over many, many years. Got it?

      • Hey Caity, I think you mean “INDISCRIMINATE” breeding – you know what I’m talking about.

  7. Renee – if you really “loved,” and “cared” for your “family member,” then you wouldn’t subject them to this torture chamber, cruelty circus, and death camp.
    You wouldn’t subject them to whipping/beating, doping, dumping, and/or dying.
    Furthermore, you wouldn’t support other “beloved family members” to the same evil doings.
    You can love horse racing, but you certainly don’t “love” your “family member” by participating and supporting it.

    • I love my animals, my mother spent her whole life taking animals who were unwanted and giving them a home. The horses we did have we bought from the auction houses, Royal Heart Breaker cost us 50k, he was the sweetest and loved running with my sister and I. We bought 2 Premarin( what they use for estrogen pills for women with menopause) babies for 30k, because in order for the mates to prodcude estrogen, they have to be pregnant. It literally means PREgnant MAres uRINe. There were over 50k babies on this website we got mine from, to save them from the slaughter house. Only 35k were saved in time. And we could only afford at the time to rescue 2. I am currently studying to be a DVM and work my way into the race industry to help those who truly care about their horses. And as I had previously stated, there are “bad eggs” in the industry. But they only make up a part of it. If you’re that worried, start sueing the owners of the horses. The track has a pretty unlimited supply of money due to the revenue that they generate and lawyers put the wazoo, because you will not win going after the track itself or the industry. In this case, cutting the head off the snake just does not seem pheasble.
      Have you followed the European circuits at all? It seems hipocritcal to only blame what we see here, when the US has maybe 116 tracks. But France has 250, Australia has 360.

      • The horse racing industry hugely contributes to (about 30%) the unwanted horse problem. They also directly contribute to Premain mares. They are a main supplier of Premarin mates about 60%.
        Now when we shut down this industry, and we will, these dumped racehorses will be non-existent.
        So you won’t have to save any.
        Pro-horse racing people tend to blame everybody else for the unwanted horse problem they create.
        As far as the other racetracks in other countries?
        There are groups that will eventually shut them down too.
        This cruelty circus, and death camp has no place in 21st century society.
        If you really “loved” horses then you would want it shut down as well.

  8. People will do anything for money regardless of who or what happens. Sad state of affairs. When I was very young, my dad worked at the racetrack and I fell in love with the beauty of a horse. During a race, I saw riders whip the horses to make them go faster. I stopped going and to this day, will not watch

  9. Why dont you do resesrch on horse slaughter??? US horses shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter and as bull bait!!!! 155 thousand plus year… Horses are very expensive. I have one. If horses dont have good owners or jobs theyend up at auctions kill pens and the deadly truck ride no food and water. Then butchered. Sometimes alive. Do your research!! They may be better dying on the track then in a diseasesed feed lot or kill chute or bull pen in Mexico.. Google It.

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